Ecumenical Prayer for the Armenian Martyrs

28 Apr 2023

An ecumenical celebration entitled "Prayer with the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide" was held on Thursday, 27 April 2023, in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Tiber Island, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Metz Yegern, the "Great Evil" that struck the Armenian people in 1915, and in commemoration of the canonization of six hundred martyrs by the Armenian Apostolic Church on 23 April 2015 in Etchmiadzin.

The celebration was presided over by Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, together with Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church to the Holy See (Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin).

In his homily, the Cardinal recalled that "the tragic history of the martyrdom of so many Christians began with the Armenocide, the genocide of the Armenian people at the beginning of the 20th century" and stated that "the ecumenism of martyrs, or as Pope Francis says, the ecumenism of blood, is therefore undoubtedly the most convincing sign of ecumenism today."

The celebration was also attended by numerous representatives of other Churches and ecclesial Communities present in Rome, including Archbishop Ian Ernest, Director of the Anglican Center in Rome and Personal Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See; Revd Michael Jonas of the Lutheran Church in Rome; and Revd Matthew Laferty, Director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome.

The Pontifical Armenian College Choir accompanied the celebration.